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Homebase storage tank outlawed

PUBLISHED: 11:47 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:52 13 July 2010

A big silver storage tank at a new DIY store has been refused planning permission, despite offers to lower it.

The 9m tall tank behind the Cromer Homebase, supplying water to its fire sprinkler system, has already been built as the store nears opening, but its height has upset residents, planners, councillors.

A big silver storage tank at a new DIY store has been refused planning permission, despite offers to lower it.

The 9m tall tank behind the Cromer Homebase, supplying water to its fire sprinkler system, has already been built as the store nears opening, but its height has upset residents, planners, councillors.

Local councillor Keith Johnson likened it to the “dustbin” building at the University of Essex recently condemned by the Prince of Wales during a visit.

“We have our dustbin, and that's where it should be consigned,” he told North Norfolk District Council's east area development control committee.

Homebase, which put up the tank without planning permission, had offered to reduce the height of the silo by 3m by sinking it in a pit, as well as adding 1m to the height of a rear fence, the meeting heard.

The company's agent Nick Palmer apologised for the planning permission “oversight”, adding that original plans showed a smaller tank, but insurers insisted on a bigger one.

Officers, who initially recommended refusing the tank, instead suggested giving it the go-ahead if the lower version could be agreed with Homebase.

But councillors vote for straight refusal after voicing anger at the way the company had handled the matter.

Sue Arnold said the tank should be put fully underground, while Michael Baker felt the council should not “give in” by giving back-dated permission.

Officials said adding another 1m on the fence would have to be another application, and Barbara McGoun said it already looked like the Berlin Wall, and could not believe the council had let the development happen.

Homebase was however given permission for a rear conservatory in the garden centre section, but not before another sideswipe.

Mr Johnson said; “What an awful development. We thought it would be lower and hidden. It is totally the opposite. I am very disappointed with what we have ended up with.”

He also attacked the developers for cutting down roadside trees - which they have been told to replant - as well as digging up a host of roadside daffodils put there by the local In Bloom committee and Brownies, which officers will also try to get replaced.

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